Homeowners Out Thousands When Pool Company Closes its Doors

Hans Stahl and his partner called NBC 6 Responds after weeks went by without a response from their pool contractor.

"We contacted him and said we are ready to go," Hans said. "And then we never heard from him again."

In July, Hans and his partner hired Parkwood Pools and Pavers, Inc.

"We decided just recently to put a pool in," Hans said.

They paid an initial deposit of $2,875 and an additional $400 to do a mandatory survey and soil test. Weeks later, when it was time for the company to get to work Stahl says he couldn’t get ahold of anyone from the company.

Stahl's project is just one of many. NBC 6 Responds spoke with a handful of other customers in the same situation.

And we found five other homeowners who have filed civil lawsuits in Broward County. In one case, the homeowner says they handed the company more than $22,000. In another lawsuit, a homeowner says they paid the company $34,000.

And in yet another lawsuit, another homeowner wrote they found out from a company representative that the business was shutting down and they would not be getting their money back.

When we went to the listed address for Parkwood Pools and Pavers, Inc. we found an empty office. NBC 6 Responds reached out to the person listed as the general contractor on the jobs.

"I'm a W-2 employee and my role as a qualifying agent was to oversee the jobs only," Robert Estell said.

He says about a year ago, he was asked to come in to oversee projects and permits.

He believes close to 40 people had projects in progress when the business closed, but he said he didn't handle the company's financial matters and found out the business was shutting down the same day as customers.

"They did an audit, said we are closing the business, with no notice to any of the employees, any of the customers, and even myself," Estell said.

We reached out to the person listed in state records as the company’s Construction Financial Officer.

He told us, "It is not a case where money was stolen by the owners." He went on to say, "The Company was losing money on new pools built for years."

He referred us to the owner, who we reached through Skype.

Oleksandr Savchuk told us because of a language barrier he would need to answer questions through email.

Our questions about what happened to customer's money went unanswered, but in one email he did tell us that he thinks he "became the victim of fraud which brought grief to my family and made our customers miserable." He did not respond to questions about what type of fraud he was referring to.

Customers like Hans Stahl are now left to figure out what to do next.

"It's frustrating, it's wrong, it's just wrong that people can do this to homeowners, and I think it is sad that it has come to this," Hans said.

Estell says he met with a group of homeowners who currently have stalled projects and tried to connect them with contractors willing to step in and complete the projects at an additional cost. Estell is named in some of the civil lawsuits.

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